Edi­tor’s Note

Lonely Planet Magazine (US) - - Editor’s Note - Peter Grunert, Group Edi­tor

Spoiler alert: the No. 1 coun­try in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018 is . . . Chile!

We’re cel­e­brat­ing this slen­der slice of South Amer­ica, from its ice-shrouded lower tip to the Ata­cama Desert – the world’s dri­est non­po­lar place – in the dis­tant north. The na­tion’s wild­ness cour­ses through­out its 2,653-mile length, but read our Best in Travel ( p. 38) and Great Es­cape ( p. 85) fea­tures to learn why it’s be­com­ing more ac­ces­si­ble than ever be­fore.

Chile’s char­ac­ter lies en­coded, in a sense, within the DNA of the mag­a­zine you’re read­ing. Nine years ago I was trusted with launch­ing Lonely Planet’s in­ter­na­tional net­work of mag­a­zines, now 12 strong and pub­lished in coun­tries as di­verse as In­dia and the U.S., China and the U.K. Lonely Planet was al­ready the world’s big­gest guide­book pub­lisher, fa­mous for telling it like it is about the des­ti­na­tions its read­ers had cho­sen to travel to. My task was to in­spire more read­ers to travel in the first place, to stretch their hori­zons and feed their pas­sion for travel through our pages. In map­ping out the mag­a­zine’s ap­proach, I was deeply in­flu­enced by a book called In Patag­o­nia.

Writ­ten by au­thor Bruce Chatwin, this brief 260-page travel book has 97 quick-fire chap­ters, in the­ory fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of past ad­ven­tur­ers – among them Butch Cas­sidy and Charles Dar­win – to this south­ern­most re­gion of Chile and Ar­gentina. In prac­tice, it was an op­por­tu­nity to give lo­cal peo­ple met along the way a chance to de­scribe the eerie, be­witch­ing land they’ve made home. Chatwin said trav­el­ing through Patag­o­nia was “the most jaw-drop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence be­cause ev­ery­where you’d turn up, there, sure enough, was this some­what ec­cen­tric per­son­al­ity who had this fan­tas­tic story. At ev­ery place I came to it wasn’t a ques­tion of hunt­ing for the story, it was a ques­tion of the story com­ing at you.”

I can’t tell you how much plea­sure it gives me to cover Chile – and es­pe­cially Patag­o­nia – in our Best in Travel is­sue, and to con­tinue to fol­low the tra­di­tion of show­cas­ing the views of the lo­cal peo­ple who al­ways keep

“the story com­ing at you.”

@pe­ter_­grunert

@pe­tervg73

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